The Story From Lernerville; Sodeman Jr. Ends Dry Spell; Williamson, Ferree and McPherson Pad Season Win Totals
A picture perfect night for racing greeted fans as they arrived at Lernerville Speedway for another fab four Friday night. Fans were treated to a peek at dirt racing history as Nostalgia Night brought out a variety of cars from years gone by. On the track, the usual suspects were back in victory lane, save for one Jack Sodeman Jr. who scored an emotional victory which was a long time coming, while Alex Ferree and Corey McPherson added to their trophy collections. And, Mat Willamson put away his second career modified championship with an exclamation point, earning his fifth victory of the campaign.
Precise Super Late Models
Points leader Alex Ferree had to be feeling confident coming into the feature event with the benefit of having drawn the pole. However, being an early leader has it’s disadvantages too sometimes, especially when lapped traffic comes into play. Ferree and Dan Swartzlander led the field to the green flag and after two early cautions, Ferree was in firm control, running the high side of the speedway with a multiple car length advantage over second place Swartzlander.
Behind them, the chase was on and the pack included Gary Lyle, Michael Norris, Matt Lux and Kenny Schaltenbrand. And even further back lurked the greatest threat to Ferree’s bid for his fourth victory, Jared Miley. Following a lap five restart, Miley had entered the mix, charging forward from his eleventh starting position, to enter the battle as he wrested third place from Lux as he dove underneath him, and then took second when he made his way around Swartzlander a lap later.
But Miley’s task was no small chore. Ferree had built a two second plus advantage with just over thirteen laps remaining. Meanwhile, Lux managed to get by Swartzlander to take the third sport away from Swartzlander on lap nine. Lapped traffic then began to come into play at the halfway mark for the leader as Miley turned up the wick up his assault of Ferree.
Miley would switch to the high groove and started shaving Ferree’s lead with even more lapped cars in Ferree’s view. Ferree knew Miley was coming fast, but he made his way through the traffic with precision and purpose and was able to gain seperation briefly from Miley at several key points coming out of turn two. However, Miley made up ground where he could and at several points in the waning laps, he drew door handle to door handle with Ferree but could not put himself in position to make the pass as Ferree crossed the line at the end of twenty-five laps exactly as he start out, in first place.
1. Alex Ferree
2. Jared Miley
3. Matt Lux
4. Kenny Schaltenbrand
5. Mike Pegher Jr.
6. Gary Lyle
7. Dan Swartzlander
8. Tony Burke
9. Chuck Sarver
10. Danny Hutson
Diehl Automotive Group Modifieds
Like Ferree, Mat Williamson started on the pole of the modified feature, but he took a different path to victory lane. Williamson’s front row mate, Dave Murdick made his intentions known from the drop of the green flag as he immediately challenged Williamson for the lead in the early stages with Williamson working the low groove and Murdick up high.
Behind them, Jeremiah Shingledecker watched the battle from the third spot, looking to find an opening to get around either front runner in the opening laps. On lap four, the door opened for Murdick, who put the top side momentum to work in overtaking Williamson for the lead. Shingledecker would then try to pass Williamson, changing grooves with each lap in an attempt to make the pass until the yellow flag waved on lap seven for Chelsie Kriegisch.
After another caution and restart following Steve Feder’s spin, Williamson proceeded to move up top and found the conditions to his liking as he overtook Murdick for the lead on lap nine. Meanwhile, a hungry pack including Garrett Krummert, Erick Rudolph and Shingledecker began to hunt Murdick. The threesome put on a show, weaving in and out between each other while Williamson would stretch out his lead while the battle behind him played out.
Krummert managed his way around Shingledecker for third on lap 19 and then overtook Murdick on lap 21 when the caution flag came out as a result of contact between Murdick and Shingledecker on the front stretch. On the ensuing restart, Williamson proved to be too much to handle as Krummert was left to fend off Rudolph who made a last ditch attempt at a second place on the final set of turns which came up just short. Both the feature, and the season belonged to Williamson, who continued his brilliant 2015 run that has seen him win three straight at one point, and put every finish of the season in the top five.
“We actually blew a fan blade an got into the radiator and we were lucky the motor didn’t get too hot. I need to thank Bob Warren and the Shingledecker crew for all the help they provided,” Williamson said. “When Garrett was right there on that last restart I was afraid he was going to slide by me but he ran me clean. You never really want to lead the beginning of a race, it’s all about the end, but when Dave got by me early I wasn’t really worried about it because we had a lot left in the tank.”
1. Matt Williamson
2. Garrett Krummert
3. Erick Rudolph
4. Kevin Bolland
5. Brian Swartzlander
6. Rex King Jr.
7. Rick Regalski
8. Rex King Sr.
9. Steve Feder
10. Carl Murdick
Peoples TWP Sprints
Ohio based hot shoe Craig Mintz came to join the party in the Peoples TWP Sprints on Friday night. But be that as it may, Jack Sodeman Jr. was intent on keeping the invader at bay and turned in his finest performance of the season en route to his first victory of the season.
Sodeman and Dan Kuriger lead the field to the green flag, but on the first set of turns, Kuiger spun in front of most of the field. Amazingly enough, no drivers were collected in the spin and when the feature resumed, Sodeman took his place at the top of the surface and put distance between himself and the rest of the field until the yellow flag waved on lap three. On the ensuing restart, Mintz worked his way up to fourth while behind Sodeman, Brandon Matus, hungry for his first win of 2015, set to work on chasing down Sodeman as best he could.
Sodeman started to encounter heavy lapped traffic around the eleven lap mark which he breezed by around the outside. He looked to be in complete control of the race until a caution on lap 13 for Ralph Spithaler reset the field. Once the race resumed, Mintz headed directly to the bottom and engaged in a battle with Matus for the second spot which allowed Sodeman to gain more separation. Behind him, Mintz had taken second away from Matus for a handful of laps, but on lap 19, Matus put him in the rear view mirror for good. It looked like he would come away with his second consecutive second place finish until he was passed on the final lap by none other than his father Brent Matus.
But the night belonged to Sodeman who was never seriously challenged for the better part of twenty-five laps en route to his first victory of the season.
“It’s good to be back here in victory lane, I didn’t know if I actually knew my way here or not,” said a delighted Sodeman Jr.. “It’s been so long and we’ve really struggled the last couple of years here and I have to give credit to my entire crew. I knew Mintz was there in second and he’s really good at Attica and Fremont so he knows how to work the bottom, I didn’t know if he was going to be able to sneak up on me or not so we just stayed on the top and it worked out.”
1. Jack Sodeman Jr
2. Brent Matus
3. Brandon Matus
4. Craig Mintz
5. Carl Bowser
6. AJ Flick
7. Brandon Spithaler
8. Dan Shetler
9. Zach Morrow
10. Davey Jones
Millerstown Pic A Part Sportsman Stocks
In what may have been the longest stock feature of the season, Corey McPherson outlasted the competition en route to his fifth victory of the season. It was a race that saw close to ten caution flags and one red flag, and when the dust settled, McPherson found a way to take the lead, give it back and get it back in a furious last five laps, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.
Bob Egley shot out to the early lead with some talented company directly behind him in the likes of McPherson, Joe Kelley and Paul Shreckengost. The battle for the lead then became a three car battle as Kelley, McPherson and Egley would come across the line almost in a straight line in the early going. But the momentum of the race would be halted by several early cautions, mostly for spins.
Jim Fosnaught then joined the front pack at the five lap mark as Kelley would assert himself as the leader through the cautions and restarts while McPherson would make is way to the second spot in the early going. The three drivers seemed destined to make one final battle for the win occur as soon as any consistent green flag run presented itself.
The red flag then came out on lap nine following a backstretch tangle involving Aaron Easler, Adam Lipinski, Schreckengost and Brett McDonald, who’d wound up on his roof as a result of the altercation. McDonald would walk away, suffering little to no injury at all, and after another round of cautions, McPherson found himself in the lead with six laps to go and a fresh restart on lap 14.
McPherson elected the bottom on the restart but he slid too far up the banking in turn two, allowing Kelley to re take the lead. The anticipated three way battle between McPherson, Kelley and Fosnaught was now underway with Fosnaught on the bottom, Kelley in the Middle and McPherson up top. McPherson then emerged with the lead on lap 17 and held on to take the victory. Fosnaught would then make his way around Kelley to come home in second place.
“It’s been a couple of months since we’ve been in victory lane, we’ve been struggling,” McPherson said following the win. “I didn’t even think I’d be able to race the feature, I got so bent up in the heat race I was able still finish but I got a pretty banged up rear end which I was able to straighten out. I could feel the car getting looser and looser as the race went on and I think that rear end got even looser as the race went on so I had to be cautious, but once I got back out front and on top, I had to nail it down.”
1. Corey McPherson
2. Jim Fosnaught
3. Joe Kelley
4. Bob Egley
5. Wayne Carbo
6. Terry Young
7. Paul Schreckengost
8. Jeff Miller
9. Aaron Easler
10. Neil Tristani
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